Phoenix captain Shane Doan was ill this week, had been, and continued to feel it. He had headaches and a temperature. Nobody knew why. “Out With Mystery Ailment,” USA Today headlined. Said a teammate, Paul Bissonnette:
“It’s hard to not picture him here. He’s a big body. He eats a lot of minutes. He plays hard minutes, too. He wears down D and gets to the net. Anytime you lose a guy like that, it’s kind of killing us a little bit.”
“No one will ever see me in downtown Vancouver ever again,” said Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins.
In Toronto, where Ken Dryden wrote this week about Mayor Rob Ford, who won’t go away, Tyler Bozek’s injury was oblique.
Also, the Leafs’ goalie, Jonathan Bernier, has something the matter with his lower body. “I woke up and it felt pretty bad,” he said. It? His coach, Randy Carlyle, said he was “nursing a minor ailment.”
Sorry: Bozek’s injury is, in fact, pretty straightforward: he has an oblique muscle strain.
Ron MacLean said that the big worry for Canada in Sochi is big ice. “It’s the sword of Damocles that hangs over the team,” he confided to Maclean’s, looking ahead to the year that’s coming. On concussions he said that when the rules changed in 2005-06 to weed out interference, the speed that the game gained was good for hockey-player heads. “The road to hell,” he told Jonathan Gatehouse, “is paved with good intentions.” He thinks that fighting will be gone in 10, 15 years. “We’re up against the science. It’s like cancer and cigarettes.”
Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe had reported on the start of Lucic’s weekend in British Columbia:
Lucic, a native of Vancouver, got the chance to see some family and friends Friday night with dinner at his grandmother’s house. “Don’t get to have that too often,” Lucic said. “It’s been 2½ years since we had a chance to play here, so it’s nice to be back.”
But then after Saturday’s game against the Canucks, at a bar, two different men punched him. That’s why he’s never going back downtown.
By the end of the week, doctors had figured out Shane Doan’s mystery. “It looks like some form of Rocky Mountain fever disease,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said.
“Our medical team is on top of it. Every day he seems like he’s getting a little better and a little more energy and has started to exercise a little more. We’re encouraged. He’s trending in a positive manner and for us, it’s just going to take time.”
Bruce Cheadle from The Canadian Press reviewed the prime minister’s book this week, A Great Game. “Harper has said he worked on the book for about 15 minutes each day,” he wrote, “and it probably should be read the same way.”
At Canadiens.com, Jack Han said that Rene Bourque, the pride of Lac La Biche, Alberta, “happens to be one of the most interesting players to ever don a Habs jersey.”
Boston’s Brad Marchand behaved badly in Vancouver, taunting specific Canucks by kissing imaginary championship rings and pretending to raise Stanley Cups over his head to remind them that while he’d had actual rings on his fingers and Cups overhead, Ryan Kesler never had.
“Obviously no class,’’ Kesler said afterwards. “I’m a firm believer you win with class and you lose with class, and it’s all I got to say about that.’’
“I did it after he was eye-gouging me,” Marchand explained. “My emotions were a little high after that. He’s welcomed to say what ever he wants.
“We both play different games. Whatever happens on the ice, stays out there.”
Boston coach Claude Julien said that there’s a line you can’t cross.
In Finland, Independence Day festivities turned nasty. This was actually earlier in the month, but bears repeating now. “Some of the demonstrators who gathered in Tampere were armed with hockey sticks and wore shoulder pads and helmets,” said The Helsinki Times. Police said it wasn’t a demonstration at all, it was illegal gathering that should be described as “aggressive behaviour” by “a gang of goons.” Officers were hit with the hockey sticks, and had bottles thrown at them. They arrested 28.
In Russia, Illya Kovalchuk mused about Colorado’s goalie, Semyon Varlamov, and his ex-girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyukat, who sought a restraining order against him after he allegedly knocked her down and kicked her and dragged her by the hair in October.
“I hope to God it all pans out well and maybe he can somehow reach an agreement with his princess and finally she’d be given a green card, which she really wants,” Kovalchuk was reported to have said in R-Sport.
This, before Colorado prosecutors dropped misdemeanor assault charges against Varlamov because they didn’t believe they could win a conviction.
Varlamov will focus now on hockey and family, his agent, Paul Theofanous, told The Denver Post. For their support, the goalie was grateful to the Avalanche, ownership, management, coaches, and teammates; Colorado fans; the Russian Federation; Russians.
Kovalchuk was Vladislav Tretiak’s choice to carry the Russian flag when the Olympics get going in February in Sochi. “He deserves it. I don’t want to offend the other players like Datsyuk, Malkin, or Ovechkin, but they’ll be in Sochi later.”
Colby Cosh from Maclean’s had a theory, this week, that flies at the face of all you thought you knew about goalies in the NHL and needs paying attention to by Steve Yzerman in his thinking about who should guard Canadian nets in Sochi and it has do with older goalies not being necessarily better than younger, in fact the opposite is true, goalies are at their best before they hit 27, and if you’re wondering does this controversial hypothesis have a name, well, yes, the answer is yes: it’s Goalies Don’t Improve.
Punched in the head by Eric Boulton of the New York Islanders, Montreal’s George Parros “looked wobbly,” according to NHL.com.: “it appeared something was not right with the Canadiens enforcer.”
On Sunday, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien revealed what exactly was ailing the forward.
Therrien told NHL.com after his club’s 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers that Parros sustained his second concussion of the season, and will be evaluated on a daily basis.
The first, you’ll recall, was “sustained” on the opening day of the season. Parros, fighting Toronto’s Colton Orr, lost his balance and fell face-first in to the ice, prompting this headline next day in The National Post over a column by Michael Traikos:
George Parros injury a dumb accident by an intelligent goon
This time around, on Monday, Damien Cox from The Toronto Star took to Twitter:
I would like to think SOMEBODY in once-great Montreal Canadiens organization will tell George Parros he cannot “play” any more this season.